Bishop Ambrose Kiapseni laid to rest

-      Bp Rochus Tatamai

 

Bishop Ambrose Kiapseni MSC, Bishop Emeritus of Kavieng, the longest serving Papua New Guinean Roman Catholic bishop was laid to rest on Saturday 28th December 2019.

 

Cardinal Sir John Ribat MSC, Archbishop of Port Moresby presided at the Requiem mass.  Archbishop Francesco Panfilo sdb of the Archdiocese of Rabaul and Bishop Rochus Josef Tatamai MSC, Bishop of Kavieng Diocese were concelebrants together with Fr Siby and Gianni OFM, Vicar Generals of Vanimo and Aitape Dioceses and several other priests from the three deaneries of Manus, Kavieng and Namatanai.  

 

Hon Sir Julius Chan, Governor of New Ireland Province, a long-time friend and colleague in the leadership of Bp Ambrose represented the Government together with several others.  Mr Robin Brown, First Secretary delivered the Governor's condolence message marking their long years and terms of collaboration throughout the State Church Partnership program in New Ireland Province. 

 

Despite the rain on the previous day, the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Cathedral, Kavieng was packed to capacity. 

 

Bp Rochus Josef Tatamai MSC delivered the homily and conducted the burial rites at Kopkop the MSC centre cemetery while Abp Francesco Panfilo SDB did the final commendation at the cathedral. Fr Clement Taulam, Dean of Manus delivered the Eulogy that was prepared by Fr Gerard Savian MSC.  The Vicar General Fr Vincent Takin delivered the condolences messages from Cardinal Pietro Parolin on behalf of His Holiness Pope Francis and from Archbishop Kurian Mathew Vayalunkal, Apostolic Nuncio PNGSI as well as the message of condolence from Fernando Cardinal Filoni Prefect of the Congregation of the Evangelisation of Peoples. 

 

The Diocesan Choir led the solemn liturgy and sang Bishop Ambrose Kiapseni's favourite Latin Mass, liturgical and eucharistic hymns. The entire eucharistic celebration captured the joyful Christmas as well as the Easter joy that Christ has Risen and lives forever. For us Christians, life is changed, not ended but transformed into Christ's Risen and Glorified body.

 

Bishop Ambrose Kiapseni MSC was born on the 16th October 1945.  He was ordained a priest of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the 7thJanuary 1975. On 12thMay 1991, he was ordained Bishop of Kavieng and resigned on the 22ndJune 2018, making him the longest serving Papua New Guinean Roman Catholic bishop.  He passed away on the 20th December 2019.

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